Hamas' Lies about Gaza Fatalities Unmasked

It's now official: the casualty counts you heard for the Palestinians during the recent war in Gaza were wild fabrications put out by the Hamas terrorist organization and its allies, and eagerly accepted and circulated by Western media.

The Jerusalem Post reported this week that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has at last opened its detailed dossier on the Palestinian fatalities during the war. It shows a picture radically different from the one that keeps sparking so much righteous outrage against Israel.

According to the widely cited figures of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights -- which NGO Monitor describes as "pressing [an] anti-Israel agenda in media and international organizations" with its "reports condemning Israel policy often lack[ing] credibility" -- some 895 Gaza civilians were killed in the war, or about two-thirds of the total Palestinian death count. But according to the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), the truth is the reverse: about two-thirds of the dead were fighters from Hamas and other groups.

Out of the 1,338 Palestinian fatalities, the CLA has now identified over 1,200. The Post notes that "its 200-page report lists their names, their official Palestinian Authority identity numbers, the circumstances in which they were killed and, where appropriate, the terrorist group with which they were affiliated."

Of these, the CLA has conclusively established that 580 were members of Hamas and other terror organizations. Another 300 were noncombatants -- women, children younger than 15, men over 65. Another 320 names are yet to be classified; all were men and the IDF estimates that about two-thirds were terrorists.

Col. Moshe Levi, head of the CLA, says Hamas' "false reporting" was behind the distortions and gives an example: on January 6, about halfway through Operation Cast Lead, Hamas claimed IDF shells had hit a UN school in Jabalya and killed over 40 including many civilians. The claim was widely disseminated and further stoked already mounting diplomatic pressure on Israel, with the UN Security Council calling two nights later for an immediate ceasefire by a 14-0 vote on which the United States -- despite Israeli expectations of a veto -- abstained.

It turns out, though, that the actual number of Palestinians killed at the school was 12 -- nine of them Hamas gunmen, three civilians. The UN itself has since admitted that the IDF was returning fire and that none of its shells hit the school itself.

In light of all this, the IDF is now "considering setting up a ‘response team' for future conflicts whose job would be to collect information, analyze it and issue reports as rapidly as possible that refuted Hamas fabrications."